The High Court has found that Consultant Obstetrician, Dr. Raymond Howard, was liable for a €3.75 million compensation settlement, previously agreed in the case of Nicole Hassett of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Mr. Justice O’Neill heard how Dr. Howard had delayed the birth of Nicole in 1997 with “no apparent reason”, causing her to suffer brain damage during the late stages of labour and resulting in Nicole, now 13 years of age, suffering from Cerebral Palsy and being severely disabled.
The Court was told how Dr. Howard was in St. Joseph’s Maternity Hospital, Clonmel from 12.15am on the morning of the 15th of November 1997 and should have delivered Nicole by 12.30am. However, he delayed the birth until 1 am during which time Nicole suffered the great bulk of her brain damage due to being left in the rigours of intense labour.
The Court also held that the HSE was entitled to be indemnified by Dr. Howard due to his failure to adequately perform his duties and his breach of duty of care towards Nicole which was the proximate cause of her injuries.